Japanese Whisky: Suntory’s Hibiki 12yr

October 25, 2011 § 26 Comments

To say I’m a fan of Japanese Whisky is a huge understatement.   Unfortunately for me, I live in the US where our options for Japanese Whiskies are very limited.  Luckily, we do have access to a few product by Suntory.

While I’m a bigger fan of their Yamazaki single malts (see my earlier post HERE), I do also try to keep a bottle of the Hibiki 12 on hand, despite it’s somewhat higher price tag (between $60-$70 USD).  The Hibiki series is a blend of more than 30 different single malts and grain whisky from the Chita distillery.  The oldest of the malt being a 75 year old Yamazaki that has been aged in 100% Japanese oak casks.  Once the whiskies have been combined, Suntory finishes them for 1 year in matured umé (plumb wine) barrels.

Ok, let’s get down to business!

HIBIKI 12 YEAR

ABV: 43% (86 proof)

NOSE: lavender floral, burnt sugar, honey, fresh apple, maturing cask “dust”, a light apple cider vinegar next to the rooibos tea notes

TASTE: Beautifully balanced and changes evenly through the various flavors like the changing of the seasons.  Crème brûlée, caramel apple to lemon peel, then moves into some spiced earthy tea and light wood flavors

FINISH:  Long and lingering, rounded oak, rich earth under the lighter notes, ends with a bit of fresh ground black pepper on the tip of the tongue and lips

Have you tried this before?  What do you think?

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